The G-Unit General mixes the fine art of poetry and lyricism while over some of the most influential and memorable instrumentals this side of the millennium. The 16-tracks on the original release with three bonus tracks lets in a wave of nearly an hour on just the standard LP. After a short “intro” track that begins with clips being loaded into a .45 Caliber, “What Up Gangsta” pulls back the red velvet curtain where Curtis Jackson sits. 50 Cent who is essential to hip-hop in the mid-2000s and was able to format hooks and choruses that continue to ring in the ears.
On “What Up Gangsta,” he boasts over a smooth string ensemble and percussive slide, “They say I walk around like I got a S on my chest. Nah, that’s a semi-auto, in a vest on my chest. I try not to say nothing, the DA might want to play in court. But I’ll hunt a duck nigga down like it’s a sport.”
Charisma pours off 50 Cent as he walks with a flexed thorax, durag wrapped tightly with a G-Unit jersey to match. As the track continues on, 50 Cent describes, “I’m like Patti LaBelle, homie, I’m on my own. Where I lay my hat’s my home, I’m a rolling stone. Cross my path, I’ll crush ya, thinking I won’t touch ya, I’ll have your ass using a wheelchair, cane, or crutches.”
Obvious hits like “In Da Club” or “P.I.M.P” Still find radio play even nearly 20-years later, but the real push of pieces like “If I Can’t” which sounds like it formed the inspiration for “The Paper” instrumental by Skyzoo with cheerful chords and a simple stutter-step snap of percussion. The chorus from 50 continues to sculpt the feeling of invincibility in a world so cold. He describes, “If I can’t do it, homie, it can’t be done. Now I’mma let the champagne bottle pop, I’mma take it to the top. For sure, I’mma make it hot, baby.” After adding in Dr. Dre for the second verse, the two collide like a brick-and-mortar beatdown of proportions.
Whether shot nine times or hitting nearly diamond with a debut record, 50 Cent continues to paint an even graffiti coat over hip-hop and provides the ability to conquer through New York delivery combined with Southern drawl.
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